(PIKANGIKUM FIRST NATION, ON) – A warrant for the arrest of 22-year-old Shannon Keeper was issued on April 14th, 2019 in Red Lake, Ontario. Officers with the Pikangikum detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police managed to execute that warrant and have arrested then detained Keeper. She appeared via telephone call in a Thunder Bay courtroom this morning.
Her Worship, Justice of the Peace Anna Gibbons was presiding over bail court this morning. Crown Attorney Derrick “The Hammer” Silvestro and duty counsel lawyer Stella Vallelongo were also present.
Keeper has two outstanding charges working their way through the Canadian criminal justice system. Those charges are:
- Driving while impaired.
- Operating a motor vehicle while blood alcohol level over 80mg.
The Justice of the Peace asks Keeper if english is her first language. She tells the court that it is not her first language but that Ojibway is. Her Worship inquires with Keeper if an interpreter would be required, Keeper declines and indicates she is comfortable with english.
The Crown Attorney presses on that Keeper is in a reverse-onus situation and that she was previously released twice on these charges and failed to appear in court for her first appearances both times. He drives it home that Keeper has never appeared in court on these charges He slams Keeper with his position of holding her to her onus. A reverse-onus situation means that Keeper will have to show the court why they should be released.
Duty counsel requests that Keeper be scheduled to appear in a Kenora courtroom on Monday so that she can have another swing at bail. Further, duty counsel indicates that Keeper needs to speak with her lawyer.
Keeper is ordered to remain in jail until at least Monday, in Kenora. She is escorted back to her holding cell where she will await prisoner transport to Kenora, which is done in part, by an airplane due to the remoteness of Pikangikum First Nation.